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Vertex MP45 Chronograph fake watch Is Annoyingly Good

For someone who has around 75 replica watches in their personal collection, you might think I love buying watches. You would be wrong. I actually hate the feeling I get when I spend thousands on yet another watch. As such, I am always looking for reasons not to buy a watch. I like to think it helps keep my feet on the ground when it comes to reviewing these pieces for the community. When I first encountered the Vertex brand upon the company's renaissance I was intrigued but unmoved. Now, years later, I'm sitting here staring at the Vertex MP45 Chronograph wishing I'd never entertained the idea of strapping it on my wrist. Sigh. It could well be a spare Christmas in the Nudds household?/p>

Let's wind this back to the beginning for a whistle-stop tour of the brand's long and potted history. Claude Lyons, the founder of Vertex, started out by founding Dreadnaught replica watches in 1912. The company got off to a flying start and had repaired the initial £1,000 loan by the end of its first year. Dreadnaught went on to supply replica watches to the British Army during WWI before Lyons decided to set-up shop simultaneously in London and La Chaux-de-Fonds under his new brand name (Vertex) in 1916.

A history of conflict

After two and a half decades of growth, Vertex was dragged into WWII in the worst way, when its Hatton Garden factory and showrooms were destroyed in the Blitz of 1940. Henry Lyons, Claude's son-in-law (don't ask me why they had the same surname) was, at that time, a Captain in the British Army known for his expertise when it came to the fake watch trade having joined the family business in 1938. He was asked to assist the procurement of replica watches for the British Army. Consequently, Vertex became one of the 12 brands known as the "Dirty Dozen?supplied to the British Forces late in the War.

Vertex became one of the 12 brands known as the "Dirty Dozen"?/p>

Following the victory, the British Army also commissioned Vertex to design and produce a monopusher chronograph. Unfortunately, due to the rationing of the times, what would have been a distant ancestor to the current MP45 was never produced replica watches. To see this chronograph brought to life now, a lifetime after its original conception is about as moving as it gets for me. This story (which is charmingly true) is close to the tale of Charles Vermot's heroic actions in preserving the El Primero movement for future generations.

Following the M100

Vertex closed its doors in 1972, yet another victim of the Quartz Crisis. 43 years later in 2015, Don Cochrane, Claude Lyons great-grandson brought the company back to life. The following year saw the release of the M100, which was a modernized version of the model made famous by its involvement in the war effort.

I saw this fake watch in the flesh. My assessment is simple: it is a far better fake watch than the one produced in the forties, with solid luminous numerals (amazing), beautiful touches throughout its presentation (things like the box and strap lining are next level), and it has a high degree of design fidelity. However, it lacked the charm of its predecessor. This, in my opinion, was entirely down to the increased size. Rather than the perky 36mm of the original, the 2016 remake had a 40mm case. Now, that is hardly hulking by modern standards but it is impossible to simply upscale (or, for that matter), downscale the same design and blindly assume the same aesthetic result.

There was also a weirdly secretive buying process surrounding the M100, which, if memory serves, required some sort of clandestine referral system. It was all a bit Masonic. I found it ridiculous and alienating at the time. However, given the fact I'm still talking about it five years after the fact suggests Cochrane may have been right to inject his initial release with a bit of mysterious exclusivity.

The MP45 arrives (finally)

And then last year happened. Remember last year? We didn't appreciate 2019 enough. It turns out that 2019 was a great year. Possibly the best ever. Now we have 2020 we're really starting to understand how much the future could suck. Thankfully, however, as your life starts to suck more and more, you will have the option of purchasing the Vertex MP45 chronograph (without having to join the Stonecutters), because it made it out in time.

It took me a while to get my hands on it. In fact, it was by complete chance that it ended up in my possession. I spied it hanging around RJ's office in Den Haag, waiting patiently in a long line of lovely replica watches for review. I politely removed it from his charge and took it back to Dresden with me. Since then, it has barely left my wrist.

The MP45 comes in an awesome Pelican case. If you know anything about my relationship with the Pelican brand, you will know that my love for its products runs deep. The case quality is a massive bonus, but beyond that is the presence of custom-cut and colored foam inserts. It really pushes the presentation (and post-purchase practicality) over the edge. This is a box that can be used again and again. Sure, there is only space for one fake watch (on the top layer of a two-leveled insert), but beneath that, there is room for a couple of spare straps.

Blowing the budget on the NATO

New brands tend to position themselves as a value proposition. It's one of the easier ways to create separation between oneself and a bevy of more established maisons that occupy the same price bracket. Vertex replica watches don't labor that point, however. That is likely because they are not cheap (not by any stretch of the imagination). That said, they are exceptionally good quality for the money. Consequently, I do regard these replica watches as decent value propositions. The MP45 with the hand-wound Sellita monopusher is chief among them, in my opinion.

It is, in a word, luxurious.

One of the advantages of not being cheap is that designers do not need to take cost-sensitive short cuts. That method is on full display when it comes to the NATO strap included. It is, in a word, luxurious. It is made from a thick, tightly woven material that has a glossy appearance and feels incredibly comfortable on the wrist. A custom made buckle is a nice touch and the larger-than-average tang slots through large, circular holes in the strap with ease.

The matching stainless steel keepers are a joy to use. One of them (the one that remains visible for most strapping configurations) is engraved with the wordmark. The effect is palpable. It is rare to see this level of attention paid to a second-choice fabric NATO. It is heartening to see it. I shifted the MP45 onto this strap within about 20 minutes of having it on my wrist. It has lived on this strap since. The comfort and color is superb. I won't be changing it any time soon.

The lume and the layout

I love it when a sub-heading sounds like a kid's fairytale. And here we are. The layout of this chronograph dial is, for me, simply perfect. I love this configuration. The sizing of all the elements results in top-notch legibility. Best of all? Those 3D luminous hours appear once again. Made from LumiCast, their performance is perhaps not as blazingly bright as you would expect (I've had more instantly reactive glows from sandwich dials using C3, for example) but the crispness of the display and the "glow containment?(as opposed to "glow bleed??add it to my ever-growing list of lume-specific terms).

An exciting engine

The 3D Arabic numerals of the MP45 add remarkable depth to a fake watch that remains satisfyingly svelte thanks to that rarely-seen manual-wind movement from Sellita. These days, most fake watch fans are aware of Sellita and its ubiquitous wares. The SW220 in its various forms is a commonly seen workhorse stepping into the shoes vacated by ETA. The chronographs are architecturally similar to the classic Valjoux 775# series. This one, the SW510MP is a uni-compax/compur (or bicompax for the kids) monopusher version with the automatic winding mechanism removed and replaced by a large, flat-topped bridge that has been sympathetically decorated with geneva striping and the brand's updated logo. You can see this mechanism through a smallish display window on the case back. And you know what? I love it.

It is (unusually) also available in an automatic version.

For those of you that like this fake watch but cannot stand manual wind movements, fear not. It is (unusually) also available in an automatic version. That adds 2mm to the height, but the fake watch remains wearable nonetheless. The manual version comes in at 14mm, while the auto registers at 16.

A chubby case

The case swells on the righthand side to act as a crown and pusher protector. I do not like this part of the design in theory. I don't like it on any fake watch in principle. In many cases, however, this asymmetry isn't immediately obvious (in my own Broad Arrow Speedmaster or even the Replica Rolex Daytona, for example). Here it spanks you over the head and insists you pass judgment on it. I have to say that although I find it a bit weird, I do think it contributes to the overall character, which I very much like.

I don't want to make excuses for the MP45 because I like the end result, but it is not as bothersome as I would have imagined it to be before living with it on the wrist.

One thing that didn't reveal itself to me until two weeks after first using it, was the black tip of the monopusher itself. Normally I detest these external decorations. I see them as a weak spot (having seen many an "enamel?cap fall off the Bremont replica watches I used to work on daily). Here, however, it is (obviously) unobvious (as it took me ages to notice it) and really well finished. Would I prefer it to be undecorated steel? Yes. Yes, I would. Does this flourish put me off the watch? Not at all.

A cheerful crown

The crown has one of the nicest winding actions I have ever experienced. This is due to three factors in my mind. Firstly, the movement must be credited with a decent winding mech. I have never serviced one of these monopusher chronographs but I image the keyless work to be identical to the automatic versions upon which I have worked (there is not practical reason for it to be any different from a dateless equivalent). I found those models to wind even better than a Valjoux when correctly lubricated and must say I wasn't disappointed here.

Secondly, the size and machining of the MP45 crown is very nice. I like a big crown and could easily have lived with an even larger button here, especially if the crown-protecting case swelling were done away with. But perhaps most uncommonly, the way the crown sits within that pronounced righthand flank is at least partially to think for this pleasant winding experience. The crown is protected from troublesome side-to-side shake by a thick lower portion that literally prevents the winder from wobbling. It is a really nice touch and one not often seen on replica watches in this price bracket and way above it.

Final thoughts

All in all, I find it hard to fault this watch. While I don't think the £3,480 is an unreasonable price, it will raise some eyebrows. This is dangerous territory with a whole bunch of household names in the mix for that kind of money. Can you get a manual-wind monopusher from Omega or Tudor for this price? No. That much is true. But you can get either brand's name on the dial. For some, that counts a lot more than pure functionality.

…don't blame me if you walk away from the viewing a couple of grand and change lighter?/p>

What the Vertex MP45 has going for it, however, is an incredibly clean and timeless design. I've quibbled with the case shape and the pusher inlay but apart from that, I struggle to fault it. At all. And without seeing the case without its characterful hump, I cannot be sure I would prefer it. My advice? Become a Mason and find someone that has either an M100 or MP45 and get a feel for the quality firsthand. One more weird point: the manual and the automatic are both the same price. Good or bad idea? Let us know below.

Direct-to-consumer models are great for saving costs on the manufacturing side of things. Generally, the result is a far better product ending up with the consumer. But this is the perfect example of where the strategy finds itself lacking. You need to see this one to "get?it. And, if you find a way to make that happen, don't blame me if you walk away from the viewing a couple of grand and change lighter?Learn more about Vertex here.